The importance of personalised health resources

29 Sep 2022
by Louise Pritchard

Louise Pritchard, BDA Chief Operating Officer, has joined Nutrition and Diet Resources UK as a Director and Trustee. In this blog she explains why she has joined the Board and why she is passionate about personalised resources across health and social care.

As we welcome our new CEO Liz Stockley and embark on a new era at the BDA, the changing landscape of Food & Nutrition and the demands of our current political, socio-economic and cultural context, all offer new potential to be realised. I have recently joined the Board at Nutrition and Diet Resources UK (NDRUK) and hope to help to match the best interests of the BDA and its members with NRDUK’s strategic aims.

Having worked in the public, charitable and now membership sector, I understand the growing importance of personalisation in achieving better outcomes for all. What can be more deeply personal than having choice and control over our health & well-being and being listened to?

Personalisation has a long history, derived and embedded in social care, through Local Authority and SCIE strategies such as ‘Think Local Act  Personal’. In the NHS more latterly, the NHS Long Term Plan sets out the need to ensure people have choice and control over the way their care is planned and delivered.

Our freelance community and dietitians working in industry understand the importance of personalisation as part of their value proposition to clients. However, dietitians and other health & social care professionals are more ‘time poor’ than ever before; much of their work is often reliant upon discretionary effort. Our professionals need to be fully equipped with the right resources that can be tailored and personalised so their precious time is effectively spent with people, rather than searching for the ‘best fit’ resource. It is not an easy job for dietitians to cut through the noise of misinformation in the food and nutrition arena. The constant ‘buzz’ of opinion is often based on inaccurate and non-evidence-based data.

So how can the BDA and NDRUK help? Alignment is key here: there are many opportunities to align the BDA objectives of supporting and growing our membership with those of NDRUK.

For me, Primary Care is a great place to start, ensuring that Dietitians can demonstrate the evidence-based and personalised resources available to them.

  • NDRUK Prescribe - tailoring individual resources before it is received, providing personalised notes and follow-ups. Topics range from Allergies to Weight Management.
  • Access to Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN) - a global resource
  • BDA App Library - during the last two years BDA members have had access to the ORCHA App library, to support dietitians’ navigation through the best evidence-based apps, countering the ‘I’ve just googled it’ challenge from people. Dietitians can also suggest apps they would like to be reviewed.

By showcasing what is available to Dietitians and therefore to the wider Primary Care team such as Pharmacists, we can raise the profile and value of dietitians e.g. First Contact Practitioner roles, and illustrate the pivotal and vital role Dietitians can have in Primary Care. Simultaneously, we can showcase the resources available to other health care professionals through NDRUK.

We can both evidence what may save GPs and others time, improve outcomes for individuals and increase confidence through the provision of personalised, evidence-based, high-quality reviewed content. Opportunity knocks...

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